Security has become a significant aspect of software development. As operations teams strive for continuous delivery, DevSecOps has emerged as a way to optimize security and safety practices within the software development lifecycle (SDLC). But what is DevSecOps, and why has it become so important? Before the term DevSecOps emerged, development and security teams operated in silos with different goals. As the need for faster delivery increased, DevSecOps emerged to merge development, security, and operations teams to work together more effectively.
Want to know more about what DevSecOps is? This article will provide a comprehensive overview of what DevSecOps means and what benefits it brings to the table.
What Is DevSecOps Methodology?
If you just searched “What is DevSecOps?” you probably already know what it stands for: Development + Security + Operations = DevSecOps. But what is the methodology behind this strategy, and how does it work?
The DevSecOps methodology is a way of integrating security practices into the software development process. It does this by bringing together the operations, security, and development teams to make the process secure from start to finish. This means that development teams consider security as early as the design phase and continue it through to the deployment phase.
Here's how it works:
Allows for Adaptable Microservices and Containers
Microservices and containers are critical components of DevSecOps, as they enable operations teams to develop, deploy, and test applications rapidly. This is because these technologies enable the development and deployment of applications in smaller units, allowing for greater flexibility and scalability. With DevSecOps, operations teams can deploy new microservices or update existing services without the fear of compromising security. Microservices and containers also give operations teams greater control over their applications, allowing them to identify and patch potential vulnerabilities.
Streamlines Continuous Integrations
The DevSecOps methodology not only simplifies but expedites the continuous integration (CI) processes. CI is a method for synchronizing and merging code changes from all developers on a team into one shared mainline, allowing them to rapidly create build updates without compromising quality or safety.
Addresses Security Issues Early On
Security is an integral part of the DevSecOps methodology. By integrating security into the SDLC, operations teams can address security issues early on and prevent them from occurring late in the cycle. This gives teams more time to respond in the event of a security breach and reduces their risk of experiencing costly damages.
Lessens the Burden on Your Security Team
Because the DevSecOps methodology integrates security from the earliest phase of the SDLC, it lessens the burden on security teams. Developers and operations personnel involved in security testing can identify and address issues before they become a problem. This prevents security teams from having to fix costly mistakes down the line, saving time and money.
The DevSecOps pipeline is what makes the methodology possible. It’s a series of steps to ensure the development process is secure and meets safety requirements. This pipeline focuses on integrating security practices and tools into the development cycle. Specifically, a DevSecOps pipeline contains these five continuous phases:
- Threat modeling: Development teams use threat modeling to identify and mitigate potential security risks. This step requires software development teams to analyze the application and its production environments to identify potential vulnerabilities.
- Security scanning and testing: In this phase, development teams integrate security tests and tools such as static code analysis, vulnerability scans, and penetration testing to scan for security vulnerabilities in their code.
- Security analysis: During this phase of the DevSecOps pipeline, development teams review and analyze the results of security scans to determine if any security issues exist. Teams prioritize the risks from most to least severe in preparation for remediation.
- Remediation and integration: After the development team has analyzed and prioritized the security risks, they begin addressing them. During this phase, development teams implement the necessary changes to fix security flaws in their code. This can range from simple fixes, such as patching software, to more complex solutions, such as modifying code or architecture.
- Monitoring: This step is crucial to ensure that security issues don’t arise in the future. During this phase, teams use monitoring tools and techniques to track the vulnerabilities identified in previous stages and the remediation efforts put in place to address them. This helps ensure that new security vulnerabilities don’t get into the system and that any existing issues are quickly identified and fixed.
What is the Difference Between DevOps and DevSecOps?
The terms DevOps and DevSecOps are similar, but they have a few key differences. The primary difference between the two is that DevOps focuses on efficiency while DevSecOps focuses more on security.
But before we dive deeper into the difference between DevOps and DevSecOps, let's first define DevOps. DevOps is an approach to software development that combines the principles of Agile and Lean to accelerate delivery, improve quality, and ensure collaboration between development and operations teams. It focuses on enabling DevOps teams to work together more efficiently by automating processes, streamlining communication and collaboration, and providing visibility into the development process.
DevSecOps is an extension of the DevOps methodology, but with the primary goal of beefing up the security and safety practices within the software development life cycle. DevSecOps integrates development and security teams from the start of the SDLC, allowing for earlier detection and remediation of security issues.
In summary, DevOps culture integrates development and operations teams to deliver software quickly. DevSecOps takes this a step further by integrating security into the SDLC and ensuring that development teams take security considerations into account throughout the process.
Benefits of DevSecOps
Now that we’ve discussed what DevSecOps is and how it works, let’s talk about why it has become such an essential piece of the software development puzzle. Here are a few key benefits of using DevSecOps:
The DevSecOps methodology integrates security considerations into the development process from day one. Doing this reduces the risk of costly security breaches, allowing for greater uptime and fewer downtimes. This is because operations teams can identify security issues and address them before they become a problem during delivery.
The integration of security into the development process from the start helps operations teams to lower costs associated with security. This is because operations teams can identify and address issues early on by writing secure code, avoiding costly mistakes, and reducing the need for post-delivery fixes.
Enhances Existing Security Measures
Using DevSecOps gives operations teams visibility into the development process and allows them to identify and address any potential security issues before they become a problem. This enhances the existing security measures that teams have in place, allowing them to stay ahead of threats and protect their application from any potential security risks.
Streamlines Automation Processes
The DevSecOps methodology allows operations teams to automate security processes without compromising safety or quality. This streamlines the automation process, allowing for faster delivery of applications and faster response times to changing customer needs. Automation also reduces the need for manual code reviews, allowing teams to focus on more complex tasks such as threat modeling and security analysis.
The DevSecOps pipeline's success depends on the tools that operations teams choose to use. Here are a few DevSecOps tools that teams should consider for their pipeline:
- Static application security testing (SAST): SAST is a tool operations teams use to scan source code for security issues. Also known as white box testing, SAST analyzes code from the inside out to identify potential security vulnerabilities and provide actionable feedback to teams.
- Dynamic application security testing (DAST): Unlike SAST, which analyzes code, DAST scans applications while running to identify any vulnerabilities that operations teams may have missed during development.
- Software composition analysis (SCA): SCA is a DevSecOps tool that allows teams to identify open-source components and their associated vulnerabilities to fix any issues before the launch of the application.
- Container security scanning: With DevSecOps, operations teams rely heavily on microservices and containers to rapidly develop, deploy, and test applications. To ensure these applications are secure, operations teams use container security scanning tools to scan them for vulnerabilities.
DevSecOps Certification: Do You Need One?
The answer to this question is probably yes if you are a professional in the software development industry. A DevSecOps certification is an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills in this growing field. It can also help you stand out from the competition and give you a competitive edge in the job market. DevSecOps certifications can also provide access to exclusive DevSecOps resources and networking opportunities.
Now that you understand what DevSecOps is and what benefits it brings to the table, it's time to consider implementing it in your organization. You can hire developers with experience in this field or invest in DevSecOps certifications for your existing team members. You should also consider exploring what DevSecOps tools are available to you and what solutions they offer.
Ready to start implementing DevSecOps in your security and development team? Start by hiring the right talent with DevSecOps know-how. Revelo is a leading talent marketplace that can help you find the perfect professionals for your team. We match companies with developers and infrastructure security professionals who are knowledgeable in DevSecOps so that you can quickly find the right talent for your organization. Contact us to get matched with the best talent today.